INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Peyton Manning has two touchdown passes in two weeks. Marvin Harrison has barely reached 100 yards total. Edgerrin James still hasn’t scored, and the Colts’ dangerous receiving corps has combined for only one TD reception.

For most other teams, those numbers would be forgotten after two straight wins. In Indianapolis, it’s causing consternation.

“Hopefully we can put some drives together, put some points on the board and get it going,” wide receiver Brandon Stokley said Wednesday.

The Colts are not accustomed to answering questions about what’s wrong with the offense, but then this has been no typical start. Indianapolis, long labeled a finesse team, has used a strong defense and a power running game to grind out victories over Baltimore and Jacksonville. While the results have been effective, they’ve gotten poor marks for artistry.

Many now wonder what has happened to one of the league’s most proficient offenses, which also struggled throughout the preseason. Indianapolis is averaging 17 points its first two games, less when Cato June’s interception return for a touchdown is removed from the equation. And nobody seems immune from the struggles.

Manning, who set NFL records for TD passes (49) and passer rating (121.1) on his way to a second straight MVP last season, has been anything but perfect. In Sunday’s 10-3 victory over Jacksonville, Manning was 13-of-28 for 122 yards with one interception. The yardage total was the second-lowest of his career and his rating of 44.0 was his worst effort in four years.

His overall rating of 74.7 this year is even lower than that of his brother, Eli, who is at 76.3.

Manning and Harrison couldn’t produce the 60 yards needed to set a new NFL record for passing yardage by a quarterback-receiver tandem and enter this week’s game against Cleveland still 24 yards short.

Is something wrong?

“It happens during the course of the season, sometimes in back-to-back games,” coach Tony Dungy said. “But we’re not concerned. I don’t think people have caught up to our offense.”

Manning chalks up most of the early trouble to the Colts opponents. Baltimore and Jacksonville are known as two of the league’s most talented and aggressive defenses, and they both threw different looks at the Colts.

The Ravens used their blitz package more than usual in Week 1, while Jacksonville dared the Colts to run by dropping extra defenders into coverage.

Indianapolis countered the Jags by relying on James, who carried 27 times for 128 yards. The perception is that the Colts quick-strike offense has struck out.

During the next five weeks, things could change dramatically.

Manning & Co. face Cleveland, Tennessee, San Francisco, St. Louis and Houston – defenses that should give Indianapolis a little more room to get its air show off the ground.

Manning needs 182 yards against the Browns to become the second-fastest player to reach 30,000 career yards. Dan Marino did it in 114 games; Manning will start his 115th straight game Sunday.

At this rate, he may have to wait another week – and he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I think defenses like to make the offense go the long route, that’s our philosophy,” Manning said. “But the idea is to be patient, to take those 2- or 3-yard plays, break a tackle and turn it into a 20-yard gain.”

But the Colts have other plans.

After two straight subpar weeks, the Colts hope to break out of their funk against Cleveland and show the NFL that they haven’t lost a thing.

“We do want to establish good balance with our running game and passing game and get into the end zone,” Manning said. “We also want to keep winning.”

AP-ES-09-21-05 1532EDT

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